May 27, 2009

European Elections

In the past, I’ve written about council elections and this election cycle we have some european elections going on. If you live in the Coventry area there are no council elections this cycle. Interesting update from last year, the whoberley wikipedia page still needs more information. Clearly I should do this at some point in time.

In the european elections there’s a party list, so you don’t get to necessarily vote for a specific candidate, as far as I can tell, but its still worth looking at the candidates and parties I think. Currently the west midlands is represented by 3 Conservatives, 2 Labour Party members, 1 Liberal Democrat and a UKIP member, within the next parliament we will be loosing one of our representatives, through shifting demographics. Interestingly enough if the treaty of Lisbon had passed, it would have the West Midlands another seat, maintaining our current level of importance. The BBC provides a helpful grouping of different european party affiliations on its website.

Candidates

Of the existing representatives, all but one are looking to get re-elected to their positions as MEPs.

The Conservative Party

1. Philip Bradbourn

Number 1 on the Conservative party list, Bradbourn has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999. He has also advised Wolverhampton City Council, and stood for elections at a national level in 1992. When caught smoking inside the EU Parliament building, he allegedly said “I’m a member. I make the rules.” Richard Nixon would be proud.

2. Malcolm Harbour

2nd on the Conservative list, Malcolm Harbour worked as an engineer before his election to the European Parliament. He has stated strong support for software patents.

3. Anthea McIntyre

3rd Conservative on the list, not currently an MEP, Stood in the 1997 election and lost. According to her website, she wants to keep the pound and encourage the single market – but wants no further integration within the EU.

The Labour Party

1. Michael Cashman

Former East Enders) character actor Cashman, has been an MEP since 1999, where he has worked on the Civil LIberties committee. He was elected MEP of the Year for Justice and Fundamental Rights by his peers in 2007.

2. Neena Gill

Another member of the 1999 MEP intake, Neena GIll sits on the Urban Housing intergroup in the European Parliament, and was also a Vice President with the Anti-Racism and Diversity intergroup. She is also listed as a Friend of Football.

3. Claire Edwards

Currently a Rugby Councillor, about whom it is hard to find further information.

Liberal Democrats

1. Liz Lynne

Yet another 1999 intake MEP (I wonder if this trend is nationwide), Ms Lynne is a former MP. She is currently a Vice-President, for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and the disability intergroup. She has also worked with Amnesty International.

2. Phil Bennion

Has a fascinating website that I advise everyone to read. As a working farmer with a PhD, including alleged expertise in BioMass – which I think means shit, Dr. Bennion stands out instantly. He was agricultural affairs advisor to Charles Kennedy, also a former Lichfield councillor, where he campaigned against local post office closures.

3. Susan Juned

A former Avon and Warwickshire Councillor, Dr. Juned has a PhD in environmental sciences, and plant biology and is quite focussed on campaigning for environmental issues.

I think the next two parties who have a chance of electing someone are UKIP and the BNP, and I don’t want to publicise their racist views, otherwise I hope this has been helpful. I might return to this topic again soon. It has stirred some thoughts within me as to what issues the European Parliament could have an impact on.


- 2 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Paul

    UKIP are racist now? Didn’t get that memo.

    29 May 2009, 09:12

  2. John

    I actively dislike the party list voting system. If you think that one of the conservative candidates (say) is a terrific fellow, and another is a crook, and therefore you want to vote for the first but not the second, you can’t; the system forbids you to make that judgement. Question: who decided that Britain would use the closed party list system, and when? Was it properly debated in Parliament?

    03 Jun 2009, 10:00


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